State laws generally make it so that once a married couple is divorced, ex-spouses lose all property rights.
I’ve decided I no longer want to leave my estate to my children. They are ungrateful brats. How can I set things up to give my money to charity when I die?
Here are the top five mistakes people make that upend their planning.
A trust is a legal vehicle that allows a third party, a trustee, to hold and direct assets in a trust fund on behalf of a beneficiary. A trust greatly expands your options when it comes to managing your assets, whether you’re trying to shield your wealth from taxes or pass it on to your children.
A will is a legal document that allows you to decide what happens with your estate after you passed away. Unfortunately, not all people consider creating one because they think that it’s complicated and just an extra expense.
When Pablo Picasso died in 1973 at the age of 91, he left behind about 45,000 works of art – so many that it would take the entire Empire State Building to display them all at the same time – and yet he didn’t leave a will.
Estate planning is the process of transferring the management of your assets, if and when you are unable to manage them yourself due to disability or death. Whether you have $100 or $100 million you should have an estate plan.
It is also important to realize that it isn’t merely “why” you are updating your will, but “when” you are updating that can make all the difference. Acting too late (or too early) may mean your changes are no longer appropriate or even immediately invalidated.
So, you’ve decided that a family member won’t be getting an inheritance, after all. Maybe you have an ungrateful or irresponsible family member you want to cut out of the will.
Properly disinheriting another person is a science, not an art. You should follow formal legal guidelines, instead of assuming what you think is logical will work once your estate is administered.